Jimenez (11-9) threw 64 strikes in 99 pitches as he whiffed 10 batters and walked zero. He gave up seven hits and an unearned run.
With Justin Masterson still recovering from an oblique injury, Jimenez and Danny Salazar (2.92 ERA) have stepped up to keep the Tribe in the playoff race.
Cleveland’s offense consisted mostly of solo home runs. Asdrubal Cabrera hit his 11th homer in the second inning, and Yan Gomes followed with his 10th in the fifth inning.
Carlos Santana’s seventh-inning homer, his 18th of the year, and gave the Tribe a 4-1 cushion.
The Indians needed the extra run because the bullpen nearly gave the game away. Cody Allen coughed up a two-run homer to Alex Gordon to cut the Tribe lead to 4-3 in the eighth.
Chris Perez delivered another white-knuckle performance in the ninth, walking two batters and giving up a hit. He managed to escape when Gordon flied to center with the bases loaded, preserving the Cleveland win for his 23rd save.
Don’t look now, but the Detroit Tigers are struggling down the stretch. They lost to the Chicago White Sox 5-1, so the Indians cut their lead in the AL Central to 4.5 games.
Cleveland, which is only 1.5 games behind Tampa Bay in the wild-card race, will host the Royals again tonight at 7:05. Zach McAllister will take the mound against former Tribe pitcher Jeremy Guthrie.
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